Table Talk – Friday 23rd November

A new street food night, a burger joint’s crowdfunding campaign and a popular pub makeover are this week’s news bites.

the Rebel Chicken Birmingham

Fans of street food in Birmingham can now add the Jewellery Quarter to their list. From next week (30th November) Street Food Fridays will run weekly over two inside and outdoor eating areas, hosted at The Rebel Chicken. Traders lined up include What The Cluck, Little Urban BBQ, Jamrock ,​ Full Belly, Veeru Da Dhaba, alongside a bar and DJ’s. From 4 – 11pm, free entry.

Burger Shop Hereford

The owners of Burger Shop, in Hereford and Worcester are hoping for a final push in their crowdfunding campaign. A Rule of Tum is looking to raise £400,000 to buy both its Hereford venue, open a butcher’s shop and launch a small plates concept in an arch next to its Worcester site.  With two weeks left to run, check out their page here

Chocolate bomb dessert The Encore Stratford upon Avon

The Encore pub in the heart of Stratford upon Avon’s town centre has had a swanky makeover and unveiled its new Winter menu. Guests will be able to enjoy dishes including sweet chilli king prawn rolls, lamb rack, lamb koftas and an exciting new range of desserts including a chocolate and peanut bomb.

The Fab Four

There has been a glut of new restaurant openings in Birmingham over the last few weeks, with more on the way, so I thought that  now would be a good time to take a look at four of some of the exciting  new eateries.

Maribel Restaurnat Birmigham dessert

Maribel  quietly took over the space formerly occupied by Edmunds and now has chef Richard Turner at the helm. This Brindley Place restaurant offers “French influenced modern British cooking”. Birmingham food writer Paul Fulford visited on their opening night and you can read Paul’s review here

Baked in Brick

Street food fans are counting down the days until Baked in Brick opens a restaurant  in the Custard Factory (opposite Kanteen).  Owner Lee is swapping his converted Mini for a woodfired oven to cook his BBQ chicken wraps and Neopolitan style pizzas in the venue that will seat 60 diners.

Opheem restaurant Birmingham

Opheem is Aktar Islam’s new solo restaurant, which has been welcoming diners during a soft launch this week. From the beginning of June, diners can expect Dorset Cross hoggat cutlet, with date and sultana puree and green cardamom; slow braised ox cheek, with millet kichdi, girole mushroom and desserts including curd dumpling, with milk sorbet, milk skin, granite and yoghurt shard. It is on Summer Row, next door to his second new eaterie Mi Amore, which serves Italian dishes.

The Rebel Chicken Birmingham

Social media is clucking about  Rebel Chicken  Hot on the heel of Bonehead, this chicken joint in the Jewellery Quarter will be serving rotissetie cooked birds, with all the sweetcorn and slaw sides you’d expect when it opens on Friday 1st June. (Look out for tomorrow’s Table Talk with details of a 10% discount off food).


So four fab new venues for you to try in Birmingham!

New cooks on the block

Writing this blog is a great way of discovering new culinary talent. So when I heard that One Twelve Kitchen is bringing their fine dining pop-up to 1000 Trades next week, I got in touch to find out more about them.

 Who are One Twelve Kitchen?


“We are a small collective of Birmingham based chefs.  The team includes, Neil, Sanah, Josh, Joe and Ajay – this is the initial team, we will also have other members in the kitchen during service, such as old friends or co-workers.

“Chef Neil Withers has a background in kitchens both home and abroad, and is currently head chef a Nosh and Quaff. The rest of the team members are also staff at Nosh and Quaff and have come together to fulfil the desire to produce our own food, in our own way.

Why did you create One Twelve Kitchen?

“We all have an interest in fine dining and have taken this opportunity to be able to showcase what we can produce. The ability to produce our own dishes as a team is important to us. Everyone within the team plays an important role into making sure we put 100% into our methods, dishes, ingredients, and service.

How did One Twelve Kitchen start?

“We gravitated together sharing a passion for fantastic produce and dishes. After working with amazing suppliers and seeing the produce we could work with, we decided to go for it and make it our own. Buying all our ingredients ourselves from high end suppliers such as Rungis Markets in Paris, to purchasing the finest free range meat from Walter Rose and Sons.

“We prioritise the importance of fine ingredients, ensuring that our produce is treated with the upmost respect using our skills to create fresh, simple and wholesome dishes. Our menu includes lots of meat and fish dishes including brill and beef and we have provided a vegetarian menu as well as catering for other dietary requirements and allergies too.


Where do you draw your inspiration from?

 “As a team we have been inspired by top chefs across the world, from classical restaurants to modern establishments, we gain information and learn new things that we can then input into our style of food.

“As well as fine dining, we are also driven by the city’s massive independent dining scene, such as Digbeth Dining Club. Those guys are as much of an inspiration as the world’s best chefs, as they hold just as much importance within the city. We are proud to be part of the ever-growing dining culture in Birmingham, as we believe it is the best outside of London in terms of standard and price point.


After the 1000 Trades pop-up what’s next for you?

“We want this to be an enjoyable and educational experience for all involved, and hope to progress the pop up further, maybe venturing out into other cities. With a young team we strive to learn and educate ourselves within the ever-changing food and hospitality industry.”

The One Twelve Kitchen pop-up of six courses at 1000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter runs from Monday 6th – Saturday 11th February. Tickets are available via eventbrite

A pint of XX please

The Jewellery Quarter BID is partnering with CAMRA and Two Towers brewery to develop a unique beer, which will be stocked exclusively in bars throughout the Jewellery Quarter.

Beer from The Lord Clifden by Charles Edward

Local people are being asked to taste, choose the recipe and name the beer at a special event being held on Sunday 13 April at The Rose Villa Tavern. One lucky person will see their suggested name printed on the bottle and have their own case of the beer to celebrate with!

For more information and to book onto the event click here

Jewellery Quarter eating & drinking guide

JQ sign

The launch of The Church pub and restaurant meant that I was back in my favourite part of Birmingham – the Jewellery Quarter. You’ll find my recommendations for bars, pub, cafés and restaurants in the Quarter in a new eating and drinking guide on the Destinations page.

New food features


New features that I am currently working on include a review of The Fat Pug in Leamington and a destination guide to the Jewellery Quarter. I will also be going to the new Sketts market at the University of Warwick and the Farmers Market in Brindleyplace next week.

The Church Inn – new opening for the Jewellery Quarter

With just a month to go until The Church Inn opens in the Jewellery Quarter, I’ve been talking to owner Carl Quinn from the Soul Food Project about his new venue.

Soul Food Project has been serving a taste of Deep South from The Hare & Hounds, The Victoria and pop-up events in Birmingham for more than three years. Diners who have tucked into SFP gumbos at festivals and taster evenings can now look forward to a new, extended menu in a permanent location.

Soul Food Project chilli

In February, armed with set of knifes and a hunger for some jamba, Head Chef Carl Finn went to New Orleans, searching for new foods and styles of cooking. He wanted to bring back some of the city’s world famous hospitality to put in to Soul Foods new joint, The Church Inn.

Carl says: “For all of the food and music events we run we just wanted a place for it all. We searched everywhere, from the city centre to Sutton Coldfield, but we kept coming back to the Jewellery Quarter.”

The site that they have taken over is an Everards pub, on Great Hampton Street, just a few doors up from The Lord Clifden.

The Church Inn logo

“The Jewellery Quarter is a burgeoning area and stood out for us for being a place where people worked, lived and went out. From what our Soul Food Project customers and Jewellery Quarter residents have told us, there is definitely an appetite for us here. This is where we drink too, so it already feels like home.”

So what will be on the menu?

Carl Finn chef

“For The Church Inn our food will have more of a gastro appeal, with crayfish boil (a stew of shellfish, corn and new potatoes seasoned with garlic and hot sauce) and speciality dishes. The week I spent in New Orleans was great. We had such a good time that we’re going back every year for menu inspiration and we’ll take customers with us. From the brass bands to go crocodile hunting in the bays if folks want to go we’ll do it!”


That sense of adventure, fun and love of the avant garde continues throughout The Church Inn. With a secret bar hidden in the building, a roof terrace for film nights, Friday and Saturday night DJs, special pop-ups and the return of the Lust Lectures, the team are promising an interactive pub. You can also just have a quiet pint or glass of wine from local suppliers.

The Church Inn is scheduled to open on 25 May, check and @churchJQ for updates. When The Church Inn is open, The Soul Food Project will continue to serve food from The Victoria.